I love animals so much that sometimes it hurts. Actually, it hurts a lot of the time. I'm living in a world where these friends of mine are food to others. My dream is to one day open an animal sanctuary, to help love and save animals from the unfortunate reality that they are born into. Although I am not in the point in my life where I can do that just yet, I do promise, to the animals, to try as hard as I can to be a voice for them from afar. I do this by trying to practice veganism the best I can, and by giving to others on simple swaps they can make towards living a more plant-based lifestyle.
I wasn't always a vegan. I'm still not always perfect at it. At times, I find myself craving seafood, or taking a bite of a candy bar that has traces of dairy in it. I became a Pescatarian in my senior year of college, after speaking with a doctor about diet and hormones. My mother had just survived Breast Cancer (go girl), which was feeding off of her Estrogen. I had been doing research on the different hormones in meat, and at the time, thought maybe it would be best to try and go off of it for a bit. Well, that is when I began watching those awful, life-changing documentaries on animal factories and food, and after that, I decided I was never, ever, going back to meat. I haven't had a slip up since.
Fast forward 4 years and here I am. It's a daily effort to be a vegan. Not because I don't want to be, but because the world doesn't want me to be. The options aren't always there, I have to plan ahead of time a bit more, and sometimes, it can get exhausting! But every effort is worth it, in the end.
Thinking about becoming a vegan? Read on for some tips.
This journey is deep. It begins with thoughts, and ends with an overall lifestyle. Veganism has many faces of reason. For me, it's for the animals. To others, it may be because of health-related issues, environmental worries, or ethics. Grab some books, listen to a few podcasts, and if you can bare watching a documentary, do. Being educated about the lifestyle you will be living is the first and best step you can take in this transition.
Donate or toss out any non-vegan items. This will help with any and all temptations. If you live in a home with non-vegans, create a shelf for your food, so that you have a home base to go to when hungry.
Get In The Kitchen.
I find myself experimenting with new foods and flavors way more then I did when I was a meat eater. Being a vegan makes you really have to think. I've fallen in love with trying new recipes and locking myself in the kitchen for hours to see how they turn out.
Don't Beat Yourself Up.
Everyone has their own way of doing things. Embrace that! It's okay if you don't quit cold turkey (see what I did there), right away. The process that you have is important, and it will flow more naturally if you listen to both your mind and body. If you accidentally cheat, brush it off. You can always start fresh!
Write it down. The good, the bad, the ugly. Having a great day? Share it. You might find some tips from that day they could make it easier the next. Scribble your favorite recipes and top grocery items. Highlight the highs - my skin is clearer, my energy is up, and I'm overall a happier person.
Begin each day with a clear mind. Look forward to the decision you've made. Thank yourself. Encourage others.
*If you have any tips for living a happier vegan lifestyle, let me know in the comments!
If you aren't a vegan, and not planning to become one, hey, I hope you enjoy the goat pictures!